Monday, May 30, 2016

Space + Art - Week 9

Space + Art
Week 9
Josh Woods

This week we learned about space and that it involves everything we have learned this quarter from robotics and nanotechnology to biotech. Space is looked to be the meaning of life but ultimately is empty space with the earth practically a blue dot. We have been fascinated by space since the Romans, but we have not been able to travel to outer space until the last century. 

It was very interesting to see the powers of ten by Ray Eames for IBM. It takes us from 10 to the 24th power meters away (which is the furthest point away from earth we know) to 10 to the negative 15th power meters in a single proton in a man's hand (which is the lowest limit we know since we don't know what is in a proton yet).From that of a distance back it just looks like empty space with little speck galaxies floating around in darkness. This puts us as humans into perspective as in we are smaller than a dot, practically nothing in thus universe yet we are made up of millions of even smaller specks in atoms. 

In the history of space taught in lecture by professor Vensa, a few parts really stuck out to me and caught my interest more than others. One of them being the discovery of buckyballs in 1996 that led to a Nobel prize. It was hypothesized that buckyballs had been brought by comets and meteorites that hit earth very long ago and brought with them vital organic compounds such as the helium trapped in the buckyballs. This led to the early work in nanotechnology. They have even recently been found in space as a solid even though they had only been found in gas before. 

Another is the Ansari X Prize also in 1996. X Prize Foundation created a space competition for 10 million dollars to the 1st non-government org. to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space in two weeks. This was created to chase the idea of cheap space flight for tourist. The Tier One project designed by Burt Rutan (financed by Microsoft) using the experimental space plan Spaceship One won it on October 4th, 2004 that cost 100 million dollars to win only 10 million (sadly). With this success more people have been inspired to create easir space travel such as Richard Branson (owner of Virgin Atlantic) and Elon Musk with SpaceX (PayPal founder). 

A lot of art has also been inspired by space. From pictures to paintings to even movie. From the 1950's onward, the ideas of space exploration fantasy and fiction have been so intriguing. Films like Lost in Space, Star Trek, and Star Wars have so many fans even now. early cartoons like the Jetsons have even been inspired by space and the future. This is another place space meets art.
Star Trek 

"Ansari XPRIZE." Ansari XPRIZE. XPRIZE Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
CNN. "Virgin Galactic to Unveil New Spaceship." YouTube. YouTube, 19 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
Gartner, John. "Nanotech: Up and Atom." RSS. N.p., 7 Sept. 2004. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
Palca, Joe. "A Discoverer Of The Buckyball Offers Tips On Winning A Nobel Prize." NPR. NPR, 8 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
Stepanov, Aleksandr. "Powers of Ten Charles and Ray Eames on." YouTube. YouTube, 03 Mar. 2011. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
"United NationsOffice for Outer Space Affairs." A History of Space. UNOOSA, n.d. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.

Event #1

Event #1
May 3, 2016

The first event I attended was a lecture by the great Anne Neimetz. She is a former student of professor Vensa who went on to be a professional media artist and designer. Throughout the presentation, she showed all of her previous major projects that she worked on or contributed too. It was very interesting to see the correlation between what she has went on to do in her career and what we have learned this quarter about art and science. Her work that is most intriguing is the wearable fashion her and her students have created.

One of the projects she worked on was Stretching L.A. 2013. This exhibition included 4 performers wearing sensor suspenders. When stretched, the suspenders play a hand full of Larry King statements (one per suspender). The four guys make music with these sounds ultimately making the suspenders wearable musical instruments. This ties science and fashion (art) together making an interactive clothing.

Another one of her projects was one that is very relative to our time now where technology is giving people access to places and things they couldn't access before. This exhibition was called "Drone Sweet Drone" This project sparks conversation on the use of drones and the threats of their capabilities.

Ms. Neimetz has inspired me to look more into interactive design. You can tell the type of inspiration she gives off by the work of her students which gets better every year. Her work is one of the best illustrations of art and science coming together. When the science gets better the more interactive and fashionable the art costumes become.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nanotech + Art - Week 8

NanoTech + Art
 Week 8
Josh Woods

After this week's lecture, my mind has been blown with information on nano technology. It is all around us most likely having them on you right now in your clothing or accessories. nanotechnology has made it possible for our phones to become smaller and smaller in size with more capabilities over the decades. I am fascinated not only on what I learned but my ignorance on the subject. Learning that the pictures of molecules that we've seen since science classes in junior high, are not what they really are left me boggled. The different pictures and what they are represented by represent a practically invisible molecules. These molecules are actually clouds of electrons and probabilities.
Gecko foot
With today's technology, we are able to mimic nature and give products and technology attributes that we not able to before. Scientist have been inspired by geckos feet to create new adhesive. These feet have fine nano structure that allows them to stick up to walls and support their weight. This inspired reusable tape. The Lotus leaf has inspired self cleaning fabrics and sprays. There is a shoe cleaner that my brother has lectured me on purchasing. You spray it on your shoes and they pretty much can't get dirty. I always wondered where they get these ideas from and now I know that it is all nano technology.

Other interesting uses of nanotechnology are in nanomedicine. Nanomedicines are being discovered to help fight diseases like never before. The most interesting are nanoshells. The nanoshells may be used for cancer therapy.They work through a physical selectivity through enhanced permeation retention. EPR is where the shells are linked to antibodies to detect and kill cancer cells. New nanotechnology may even one day be able to regenerate tissues and organs.

Nanotechnology is an art. Scientist are able to design things that humans have not been capable of creating until now. this line of work will only expand. Artist can create pieces and structures down to the genetics of what they are made of to create sleeker designs or give them special attributes. This technology can take art to another level both visual and biological.  

Anthonyxdoe. "How To: Protect Your Shoes - Crep Protect!" YouTube. YouTube, 16 July 2015. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.
Deemer, Carla. "Self-Cleaning, Reusable Tape." Nanotech Etc. N.p., 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.
"The Evolution of Mobile Phones - Easy Tech Now." Easy Tech Now. N.p., 14 Mar. 2016. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.
"Nanotechnology 101." Nano. National Nanotechnology Initiative, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.
Potocnik, Ivan. "NeverWet Blows My Mind." YouTube. YouTube, 21 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.
West, Jennifer. "Nanotechnology Animations: Nanoshells." Nanotechnology: Critical Endeavor in Cancer. National Cancer Institute, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Neurosci + Art - Week 7

Neurosci + Art
Week 7
Josh Woods

The brain is a complex piece of art only God could create. For centuries, we have tried to solve its complexities. The brain is what controls what and how people conceive things such as art. Neuroscience is the bridge that can help artist capture the audience they want as in making their art have the affects to make people react the way the artist intends them to. 

Many scientist believe that different parts of the brain control and create different thoughts. Here comes the idea of conscious versus unconscious thinking (Sigmund Freud). conscious thinking is fully cognitive thinking where you rationalize the entire picture and think thoroughly to make decisions and actions. Unconscious thinking is thinking and decision making that you aren't even aware of. It comes natural and is just a part of you, like you don't even have to think about it. Something you have either been born with or trained to do.

Other than natural decision making in your brain, chemicals and drugs are used to alter our mental states. The drugs artists use to use were cocaine and LSD. Cocaine was used by Freud to cure depression,sexual impotence, and all psychological problems but led to physical and moral decadence. LSD  was created by Hofmann looking for a blood stimulant but ended up creating this hallucinogenic drug. These drugs create a head change which changes the way you see everything. they can cause you to see things that aren't even there and cause many people to ultimately go insane. Nowadays, people use molly and Xanax. These drugs intended purposes are nowhere near what people use them for now. Originally used as antidepressants. 

When people aren't in their natural mental state, they see things differently. Art is all about perception. What you see is what you make of it and that is the beauty of art. If they could create a drug in neuroscience that can alter your brain to make everyone that takes it see the same thing that would be a breakthrough. 

Cherry, Kendra. "The Conscious and Unconscious Mind." N.p., 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 16 May 2016. <>.
"A History of Xanax Over the Past Decades." Xanax History. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016. <>.
"LSD: Effects, Hazards & Extent of Use -" LSD: Effects, Hazards & Extent of Use - N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016. <>.
N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016. <>.
"Stop Negative Thoughts: Choosing a Healthier Way of Thinking-Topic Overview." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 16 May 2016. <>.
Strain, Jeremy. "Brain String Theory." The Neuro Bureau. N.p., 31 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 May 2016. <>.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

BioTech + Art - Week 6

BioTech + Art
Week 6
Josh Woods
This week we learned about bio-art which deals using technology to change biology and make art. With technology continually progressing, people are modifying nature to make new creations with better attributes. We see it everyday with produce. Most of our fruits and vegetables are genetically modifies from the size to the color.

 "Genetically modified organism: an organism or microorganism whose genetic material has been altered by means of genetic engineering." This is the definition according to GMO produce is said to be good for mass production and all factors business wise but have many deficiencies health wise. They are said to not be as nutritious as natural produce and also are said to lead to sickness and disease. Others believe that GMO's have no problems for health but can help us and be modified to help us. 
Squirrels prefer organic corn over GMO corn.

Another  fashion of bio-art is cloning. This method takes cells from an organism and plants them in an unfertilized egg cell and then planted into a surrogate mother. Thus creating an asexual being. The first of this experiment that worked was Dolly, a sheep. This sheep lived a short life but was a breakthrough in science.

The science of genetically modifying biology can be a beautiful art. Mart De Menezes biologically modified butterfly wings. Every butterfly wing was like a new portrait. This is next level art altering nature to create masterpieces.the part that makes bio-tech controversial is that it is unnatural. The beauty of it though is being able to make living art and creations never before sen. Not all may work or have longevity but there are endless possibilities in which could solve world problems.

"Cloning Dolly the Sheep." Cloning Dolly the Sheep. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2016. <>.
"Farmer's Experiment Finds That Squirrels Prefer Organic over GMO Corn." The Organic & Non-GMO Report. N.p., 31 May 2013. Web. 09 May 2016. <>.
Honeycutt, Zen. "Stunning Corn Comparison: GMO versus NON GMO." Moms Across America. N.p., 15 Mar. 2013. Web. 08 May 2016. <>.
Menezes, Marta De. "Nature?" Marta De Menezes. Moshi Moshi, 2012. Web. 08 May 2016. <>.
"The Roslin Institute." (University of Edinburgh). N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2016. <>.
Scishow. "Why Are GMOs Bad?" YouTube. YouTube, 10 July 2015. Web. 09 May 2016. <>.